NHL Rumor Mill – August 3, 2023

by | Aug 3, 2023 | Rumors | 16 comments

Should the Penguins re-sign or trade Jake Guentzel? What will they do after settling Drew O’Connor’s arbitration? Who could the Golden Knights move if they need to make a cost-cutting trade? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski recently examined whether the Penguins will re-sign Jake Guentzel or trade him before his unrestricted free-agent eligibility next summer. The 29-year-old winger carries an average annual value of $6 million on his current contract.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel (NHL Images)

A two-time 40-goals scorer, Guentzel will likely command a significant raise on his next contract. Given the future salary cap escalation, Kingerski believes a five or six-year contract between $7 million and $8 million seems a workable range. He has concerns about Guentzel’s size and durability as he ages but noted that the winger has proven him wrong in the past.

Kingerski thinks the Penguins will retain Guentzel given their current commitment to winning. With the salary cap expected to rise significantly next summer, he believes they can easily afford to invest $7-$8 million in him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A bounce-back performance by the Penguins this season along with another 70-80 point effort by Guentzel should ensure he remains in Pittsburgh. That’s assuming he’s willing to accept between $7-$8 million annually on a new long-term contract to stay put. His agent could insist on a full no-trade clause or no-movement clause if the Penguins won’t go over $8 million annually.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Nick Horwat observes the Penguins settling with Drew O’Connor before his arbitration hearing will open a 48-hour contract buyout window for the club. With trade rumors tying them to San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson, this allows them to buy out the remaining two years of Mikael Granlund’s contract.

Granlund currently sits on the Penguins’ books with an annual cap hit of $5 million. Buying him out would free up over $4 million for 2023-24, giving them additional cap space to acquire Karlsson. That’s assuming no other team is willing to acquire Granlund.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s been my theory (and that of other observers) as to why the Penguins haven’t yet pulled the trigger on acquiring Karlsson. We’ll soon find out if they’re heading down that path.

As per Dan Kingerski, the buyout window begins on the third day following O’Connor’s signing. That means it will open on Saturday and close on Monday.


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Jesse Granger was asked if there was a scenario that would see the Vegas Golden Knights move one of their veteran defensemen to make room for younger blueliners like Zach Whitecloud and Nicolas Hague to free up cap dollars to invest in their forward lines.

If the Golden Knights were to move a player to create cap space, Granger believes defenseman Alec Martinez would be the likely candidate. The 36-year-old blueliner has a year remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $5.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights are currently cap compliant with goaltender Robin Lehner on long-term injury reserve. I think they’re content with their current roster heading into 2023-24.

Should Lehner come off LTIR during the season, they’ll have to free up cap room for his $5 million cap hit. Under that scenario, Martinez could be the most likely trade candidate.


  1. With the flat cap, fewer and fewer teams have the space to accept a player in a salary dump trade. We might not see many such trades until the cap goes up significantly, next summer.

    • According to CapFriendly, Penguins are -3,216,842 under the cap. Grandlund traded or buyout inevitable.

      Lyle, during Penguins 48 hour buyout period, what’s the maximum number of players Penguins buyout? What if the Penguins buyout Jeff Petry, for how many seasons how much money against their cap for each season??

      Any team want Jeff Carter?

      • Correction – Penguins are -3,216,842 over the cap.

      • They can only buy out one contract under the usual buyout rules. If the player is 26 and older, it’s two-thirds the remaining value over twice the remaining tenure. If he’s under 26, it’s one third over twice the remaining tenure.

  2. I have a hard time believing that the Bruins are going to go into the season without a legit #1 or #2 Center .. are they going to punt the upcoming season… they plugged holes with cheap players that are on the downturn of their careers

  3. Average age
    Edmonton 27.9
    Toronto 28.1
    Boston 28.3
    Pittsburgh 30.5


    • No surprise with today’s news – Kyle Dubas announced assumes role as Penguins General Manager.

    • Obe..interesting age chart.

      If the Penguins get off the EK Train/deal..over him.

      Move Rutta 33
      Move Petry 35
      Move desmith 29
      Buyout Granlund 30??

      Sign dumba 28
      TraDe fir noah hanifan 26
      Let ty smith play 25
      Let o’conner play 25
      We added ryan graves 28

      Younger team

      Lost dumoulin 32
      Trade rutta 33
      TrDe petry 35

    • Average ages don’t mean much really and I think your point. Average age of your core or stars do matter and as a result tell where your team is and how much longer that competitive window will remain open.

      • Agreed..the penguins superstars were great it was the bottom six which dubas has addressed..the defense is better with Graves and letang being better.

        If we add dumba or hanifan.. penguins will be really good..

        We arent Washington who are aging a d under performing…hextall and grumpy burke did nothing for two years.

        Nieto Accari Eller Riley smith ryan graves all will stBiluze things.

        Jarry is the question

  4. While age important, instilling a winning culture is necessary.
    A talented young team needs to be topped off by older guys who know what it takes to win.

    A few years in a row of losing ensures a young core not making it.
    A number of teams fall into that category and results in the push me/pull you of what to do with ageing stars.

    • Mr. Granlund

      Cheque’s in the mail.


      Dr. Mr. Davidson (with the great first name),

      I am looking at the anticipated super deep 2028 draft snd I am very interested in acquiring your 7th rounder in that draft

      For that coveted pick; I am willing to give you #26 on your program and # 1 in year heart as another veteran baby-sitter for the young Bedard lad ; AND our 2nd round pick in next year’s draft; and s 3rd rounder in ‘25


      Dear Mr. Dumba,

      the Pens will be very proud to take the angst (of currently being without a contract) off of you by offering you a $2.8 M contract for this year


      Mr. DeSmith , Mr. Rutta, and Mr. Ruhweedel;

      Please find attached the step by step directions to Wilkesberry-Scranton…. They are looking forward to having you on the team 😀


      Dear Mr. Verbeek

      Please sign the attached trade agreement bringing Mr. Henrique to the Penguins and sending Mr.Accairi and Mr. O’Connor along with a 4th rounder in ‘25, to the Ducks


      Dr. Mr. Hossa

      Thank you so very much for lending your game gloves to our veteran Jeff Carter (to practice with)


      Dear Mr. Carter

      Please report to team Dr. After first practice.


    • Sorry HF30

      My post was supposed to be a standalone and not responding to your post

      Not sure how it happened



      • LMAO I’m really glad I wasn’t the only one not sure how your comment happened either.

      • Pengy. I’d clink a glass. But you’d miss. You’re not seeing double tonight. It’s at least quadruple. What you celebrating?

  5. Granny is a good player but let’s face it, the contract is not. Buyout it is.